Newcastle United striker Shola Ameobi desperate to play first-team football

DESPERATE TO PLAY: Newcastle United's Shola Ameobi
DESPERATE TO PLAY: Newcastle United's Shola Ameobi

SHOLA Ameobi has told of his “frustration” at a lack of first-team football – as he doesn’t want to end his Newcastle United career on the bench.

The striker made his first appearance in six weeks at Craven Cottage on Saturday.

Ameobi – the club’s longest-serving player – came off the bench against Fulham.

But the 32-year-old couldn’t stop the Premier League’s bottom club condemning United to a “disappointing” 1-0 defeat.

This season – Ameobi’s 14th as a first-team player at Newcastle – is expected to be his last at St James’s Park, with his contract running out at the end of the campaign.

And the Nigeria international –who hopes to go to the summer’s World Cup finals – isn’t content to play a bit-part role between now and the end of the campaign.

“It’s frustrating for me, but I just have to bide my time,” Ameobi told SportMail.

“I’ve loved my time in Newcastle, no more so than when I’m playing.

“I just want to help the team. When that doesn’t happen, it’s frustrating.

“I know the manager picks a team he thinks can win.

“We have to respect that as a player, but it doesn’t stop it being frustrating.

“Hopefully, I can help us in these last nine games, and get us as high as we can.”

Fulham substitute Ashkan Dejagah scored the only goal of the game at Craven Cottage, where Papiss Demba Cisse – handed a start in the absence of the injured Loic Remy – was twice denied by goalkeeper David Stockdale.

The result saw United drop down a place to ninth in the table ahead of Saturday’s home game against Crystal Palace.

Ameobi admitted Newcastle’s performance was below-par.

“It was a disappointing display from us,” said Ameobi, who has scored 77 career goals for United.

“They’re struggling, but we didn’t really produce enough to win the game. We’re very disappointed at the goal.

“We felt it was a free-kick for a foul on Luuk (de Jong). Ultimately, it’s cost us the game.”